As we revel in the production masterclasses in the 21st century music world, electronic bells and whistles pleasing the ears in new ways, it is often easy to forget how good a few guitars and a drum kit can really sound. Especially when they’re partnered with an effortlessly calming voice.
Hollie Haines’ second single is just that. More stripped back than her passionate debut, Romeo, Fighting Alone is arguably more emotional, explaining her acceptance that some relationships just go nowhere for no reason. “These words that you’re saying, they leave me no place to go” perfectly summing up how a lot of people feel before a break up; nothing to argue about anymore, just time to give up.
The simplicity in this song is also refreshing as there is no obvious bridge, contently moving from verse to chorus in a very easy to listen to way. Her voice increases in power where she sees fit showing off that little bit of what it can do, before returning to a lovely lullaby tone you can listen to all day. I’m certain Haines does not want all of her songs to have such a basic structure but with the message this song is carrying it fits perfectly. It’s a “time to get on with it” “everything will be okay” kind of feel.
Without sounding like I enjoy seeing her sad, I think I prefer it when Haines’ music goes down this route. This is because she is more open about what she feels instead of what she wants to do. She is at her best when it is just her and her guitar, with the different layers building her up to new levels when necessary, feeling an audiences emotions instead of choreographed bursts of energy. And I know by my own experience she can replicate this feeling live.
So with this single I see a confirmation of where Haines really does succeed. Empathising with the real life problems of us young people and summing it up in a 5-minute melody. And if she continues doing that she’ll keep getting put on my playlist.
The new single is now available on Apple Music